11 OCTOBER 2020
The Local Self-Government Department (LSGD), Government of Kerala has suggested amendments to the Kerala Panchayati Raj Act and the Kerala Municipality Act to fix responsibility for non compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The department will direct the local bodies to submit annual reports specifying the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The proposal came up in the wake of the orders of the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for the timely compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in the state.
“We may observe that non-compliance of rules relating to waste disposal results in damage to the environment and public health. Any failure needs to be visited with assessment and recovery of compensation for such damage from the persons responsible for such failure”, the National Green Tribunal had warned on 16 September, 2020.
THE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT RULES, 2016
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in the Official Gazette on 8 April 2016.
The Solid Waste Management Rules,2016 (SWM Rules, 2016) elaborately discuss the duties and responsibilities of various authorities including local authorities and village panchayats of Census Towns and Urban agglomerations in the state.
The authorities shall prepare a plan as per the state policy on solid waste management within six months from the date of notification of the state policy and also arrange for door to door collection of segregated solid waste from all households including slums, settlements, commercial and institutional and other non residential premises.
The SWM Rules, 2016 specifically directs the waste generators not to throw or dispose of any waste such as paper, water bottles, liquor bottles, fruit peel, wrappers etc., or burning or burying of waste on streets, open spaces, drains and to segregate the waste at source as prescribed under the rules and hand over them to the waste collectors authorised by the local body in the state.
Elaborate waste management procedures and disposal mechanisms were laid down but no such rules and regulations were implemented strictly in many municipal and panchayat areas in the state.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared “Clean” status for 501 grama panchayats and 58 municipalities as part of the Hundred Day Action Plan in co-operation with the Haritha Keralam Mission and the Suchitwa Mission.
The Clean status is awarded based on a set of parameters including arrangements for waste treatment at source, segregate collection and recycling of non-biodegradable waste.
CLEAN KERALA COMPANY
The Clean Kerala Company Limited has been formed under the Local Self Government Department, Government of Kerala with the objective of ensuring hygiene management of the state through the adoption of innovative and scientific methods by actively participating in private and public sectors in the state. The Company has taken initiatives in implementing many Plastic Processing Projects of using waste plastics for the construction of polymerized roads and collecting E-Waste and recycling scientifically.
Some local bodies in the state have succeeded in using the plastic waste that they have collected for earning revenue. They are models in the state for the waste management by the help of Clean Kerala Company when others are struggling to handle the plastic waste. The Plastic Shredding Units installed by the direction of the Company make revenue by selling the shredded plastic to the Company. The Clean Kerala Company Limited has been working in tandem with the Suchitwa Mission, the nodal agency for Swachh Bharat and the Technical Support Group in Waste Management under the Local Self Government Department of Kerala.